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Why Does Sitting Posture Matter

25 July 2023

We've all heard comments about posture in some form or the other. If it's not about how our posture needs correcting, it's about how bad posture can be dangerous.

It's definitely true that many people have posture problems, and this is likely because good posture habits were not instilled into them at an early age. In fact, having bad posture as a child is what often results in worse posture as an adult because how we hold our bodies affects the shape of our muscles.

Our muscles adapt to fit the way we hold our bodies, and over the years, if we're not holding it right, they can get shorter and tighter, and others can get longer and weaker.

This is especially true nowadays when we spend long hours sitting at our desks despite our bodies not having been designed to do so. With so much of our work dependent on computers, there is only so much we can do to make a difference, though.

What we can do is work on our posture. But why does sitting posture matter so much?

The Importance of Sitting Posture

Most people actually realize bad posture in others but fail to take it into account when it comes to themselves. If you see your coworkers hunched over your desk, you've correctly identified a postural problem! But you may be failing to see your own!

Good posture is about aligning your body properly so that you can prevent all the various health problems associated with bad posture. Good sitting posture isn't easy to achieve, especially because we are so accustomed to bad posture, and because it requires us to train our muscles to go against gravity.

It's a lot easier to sit hunched up than to sit straight because gravity tends to pull us down. But if you train yourself to hold your body up and put less strain and tension on your muscles and ligaments, it helps protect you in the long run. Not to mention, over time, it'll become muscle memory and you won't think as much about your posture once you're used to it.

Bad posture can and does have a negative impact on the body. In fact, the effects of posture can range from mild discomfort to outright danger. On the other hand, good sitting posture can protect you from all sorts of ailments and even have some extra benefits attached.

Why is good sitting posture necessary? Let's find out.

The Effects of Good Sitting Posture



Prevents Back and Neck Pain

Your spine needs to be properly aligned to let you move easily without straining any part of your body. If you sit at your desk hunched up over the computer, you'll start noticing pain in your back, neck, and shoulders almost immediately. This is because the muscles in these areas are being put under an excessive amount of strain for no reason.

This is the most noticeable problem with poor posture, but fortunately, it doesn't have to happen. Good posture can prevent you from developing these pains. In fact, good posture can also help you get rid of existing pains! It takes some time, yes, because your muscles need to get strengthened again and become used to being held in a different way.

But over time, as you keep your posture straight, you'll notice a very clear difference.



Prevents Digestive Problems

Did you know the way you sit can harm your digestive system? It's true!

You wouldn't normally associate sitting posture with digestion, but there is a link. When you slouch or hunch over, your body is put in an unnatural position where the abdominal organs are compressed. This causes problems with digestion, acid reflux, and even constipation.

In some cases, you may even notice heartburn when you slouch over. Good posture can prevent all of these problems and more. In fact, if you feel like you have any of these problems, sitting up straight can actually provide instant relief, because the organ compression is immediately stopped.



Improving Joint & Muscle Function

Good posture allows your muscles to function properly. Because your muscles and ligaments are only meant to take on so much stress, pushing them to their limits is what causes pain and stiffness. Bad posture is usually the culprit when it comes to excess pressure and stress, and can sometimes cause your joints to wear away. Diseases like arthritis, which are linked to joint wear and tear, can be linked to bad posture as well.

Again, good posture prevents all of this from happening. While it does not eliminate the risk of arthritis, since this disease can also be a result of genetics and age, it does lower the risk greatly and also affects how fast the disease progresses. If you have weaker joints, you're bound to see more problems much faster.

On the other hand, having good posture won't just lower your risk of arthritis, it will also make sure that your muscles are not fatigued or strained, and that your joints remain lubricated and healthy. This way, movement becomes a lot easier, and you remain healthy for longer.



Improved Spine Health

Of course, your sitting posture also affects your spine. Back pain is common in many people nowadays, and most of it is because of how you hold your spine. Your spine has a natural curvature to it, but if you tend to hunch or slouch too much, it curves a bit more. This results in an increased risk of herniated disks and may even cause excessive pain.

On the other hand, sitting up straight and having good posture allows for better blood flow, which lets your nerves stay healthy. When your nerves stay healthy, so does your spinal cord, and thus also the rest of your body.

People with good posture are a lot less likely to face spinal health problems than those with poor posture.



Improves Mood

You probably haven't considered your mood to be linked to your posture, but it can be! Not always, of course, but if your body is in bad condition, chances are that your mood isn't too great either. In fact, you may not have noticed this in yourself, but your body and mind often work in tandem - when you feel depressed, you are a lot more likely to slouch. When you feel happy, you are more likely to sit up.

This also works the other way around. If you've been feeling down in the dumps, sitting up straight can help boost your mood, if only just a little bit.

Having Good Sitting Posture

So you know that good sitting posture is important, but what can you really do about it?



Exercise

One of the ways to keep good posture is to make sure you are doing regular exercises. When your muscles are weakened and stiff, it can be difficult to hold yourself in a good position even when you want to. To do this, you need stronger muscles, and the best way to do this is to get plenty of exercise.

When your muscles strengthen, they are capable of holding the right posture for much longer, and thus protect you from the negative impact of bad posture.



Set Alarms

Holding good posture isn't really something we're used to. Setting alarms for every hour or so can remind us to check and fix our posture. In fact, as we get more and more used to checking, at some point you may not even need an alarm at all. You may end up thinking about and correcting your posture yourself.


Take Breaks

Taking breaks is also important. For most of us, when we spend long hours working, our posture tends to deteriorate on its own. Setting alarms and exercising can help, but if you're just too tired, this wouldn't help very much.

Taking breaks is an essential part of keeping yourself healthy. Every hour, take a break from your work and spend a few minutes stretching your muscles and walking around to fix your circulation. You'd be surprised how much of a positive effect this can have on your body!



Furniture

Having the right ergonomic furniture is also important - particularly a good chair.

The Ergonomic Office Chair Mesh Swivel Chair 606 is one example of a good chair. It comes with an S-shaped backrest that keeps your posture straight and avoids the pain that comes with longer sitting time. It also has a headrest to keep your neck and head supported so that you don't end up with pain in this area.

The chair also has armrests for you to avoid muscle, joint, or nerve problems in the arms as well, and the height adjustment lets you customize your workspace depending on your height and stature. It also has a mesh back that provides optimal airflow.

If you need a good chair to keep your back safe while you work, this chair is perfect for you.